Surgeon Left 16 Items in Body of Man: Family Seeks $120,000 After Death

A family is seeking compensation from a hospital after surgeons were accused of leaving 16 items in a man's body, presumably leading to his death.

A surgical mask fragment was just one of 16 items found in Dirk Schroeder's body following a routine, 2009 surgery. Other items included a needle, a 6-inch roll of bandage, a six-inch long compress, and several swabs, according to reports.

The family of the patient is now seeking $120,000 in compensation from the hospital. They allege that Schroeder was given a 6-year life span before going into the hospital for an operation to treat his prostate cancer. But after the operation, Schroeder failed to get better. He was taken to the hospital only three months following the surgery when a home nurse discovered a piece of gauze protruding from one of Schroeder's wounds.

It took two operations to remove all 16 items that were left behind inside Schroeder's body, News Channel 9 reported. The hospital later denied that the items had been left behind and suggested that they landed there after the surgery took place, the report stated.

"I hope the hospital will settle but otherwise the family are prepared to go all the way and sue in court," medical expert Annette Corinth, who was hired as a lawyer by the family, told News 9.

"The family of the deceased spent lots of money on care, medicines and reconstruction of their home to look after this man," Corinth added. "There has been gross negligence here which most probably had led to complications and possibly a quicker death."

While surviving the two operations that it took to have the items removed, Schroeder's family stated that he was in severe pain during and after the long process. Schroeder died last year.